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Pork Tenderloin and Failed Barbeque Sauce - By Z

Barbeque sauce is amazing and, like all good things, regionally divisive. Some love the tomato based Kansas sauces and others like the vinegary sauce from the Carolinas. I like them all. So much that I tried to make my own. And failed. Luckily, the dry rubbed pork tenderloin was good enough on its own.

The specific reason I wanted to make BBQ sauce was because of the wine in the corner of the picture. The wine is a 2006 Ridge Lytton Zinfandel (it’s a blend… visit the link if you want to find out the exact quantities). I visited this winery with some friends last summer and liked the wine so much I bought a bottle. It’s not exactly the cheapest bottle of wine, so I wanted to pair it appropriately. I read that it went well with barbeque sauce and I didn’t really feel like cooking (it was for a picnic in the park), so I picked up a rack of ribs from Whole Foods. It went DAMN well with barbeque sauce. Plus, I like contrasts, and messy ribs + expensive wine is a fun juxtaposition.

I eventually got another bottle and wanted to pair this one appropriately, but since I wasn’t as lazy as I was in the summer, I decided to try my hand at making my own barbeque sauce for a dry rubbed pork tenderloin. And failed. I won’t even bother trying to remember what I put in it. I took a picture of a bunch of ingredients but the attempted barbeque sauce is in it and so is the wine and of course the tomatoes that went into the sauce aren’t in the picture, so I’m not really sure what I was thinking. I think I need liquid smoke and less tomatoes next time. Here’s the picture anyway:

Tomatoes, maple syrup, cayenne, cumin, marjoram, salt, black pepper, white pepper, sage, some other stuff, I think... whatever, it wasn't good.

The dry rubbed pork tenderloin was pretty good even without the barbeque sauce. And I DO remember what I put in the rub… because I took a picture of it.

Rub Ingredients, from the top left, clockwise: Cayenne, Sage, Rosemary, Salt, White Pepper, Cumin, Black Pepper

I have no idea how much of each thing to put in there, and to be perfectly honest, unless you go overboard with anything, I really doubt it matters. Mix all of the dry rub up and well, rub it. You want to get the rub deep into the meat and all over (YIIYFTSF).

I am a big fan of the sear and oven school of cooking meat (I was going to say “bake” but that sounds wrong). You get the delicious seared bits at the bottom of the pan (called fond) that you can use to make a pan sauce and you get a perfectly cooked cut of meat. However, I didn’t make a pan sauce because I didn’t use a pan. Depending on the size of the cut of meat, I either use a cast iron skillet or a grill pan. In this case, I used a grill pan.

Once it has been seared on all sides and looks brown and delicious, transfer it to the oven. If you have something oven safe, it’s easiest to just put the dish in the oven. I usually start checking it at around 10 minutes. For the cut that’s shown below, I think it was in a 400 degree oven for about 15 minutes. I’ll have another post about how to check to see if meat is rare, medium, or well done, but for now, a sear on all sides and a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes or under should be just fine as a rule of thumb. However, any more and you run the risk of overcooking it.

Call me crazy (you won’t be the first), but I’d rather eat raw meat than overcooked meat.

Then once it’s done, take it out and rest it for at least 10 minutes. This lets the juices stay in the meat instead of running out all over your cutting board. Serve with failed barbeque sauce.

Brown and Delicious: Make sure you sear the ends too. This may require holding it up with tongs.

Oh, on a semi-related note, the spell checker seems to insist that “barbeque” is spelled “barbecue.” Too damn bad, spell checker. I spell how I want.

YIIYFTSF = “You’re immature if you found that sentence funny.”

So am I.

One Comment

  1. IMIO wrote:

    I don’t have as much experience rubbing meat as you, so maybe I don’t know too much about BBQ but I thought the BBQ sauce was DELICIOUS! If Bobby Flay was there he would have run away crying.

    Monday, January 18, 2010 at 11:09 pm | Permalink

One Trackback/Pingback

  1. Food, By Z › Surf and Turf and Thirst on Monday, March 15, 2010 at 10:20 am

    [...] However, even though I do have hickory liquid smoke, I had too much going on in this meal to make another attempt at barbeque sauce. The spice can be modified by throwing more crushed red peppers in there. I know the recipe [...]

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